One of the marquee occasions which every cricket fan looks forward to every year are the Tests played in the Southern Hemisphere countries like Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand, a day after Christmas. These are referred to as the Boxing Day Tests. For the uninitiated, December 26 is celebrated as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom and many other commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
In countries like Australia and South Africa, the Boxing Day Test is an annual marquee affair where thousands of fans and millions around the world flock to the stadiums and their TV sets to enjoy top-quality Test cricket. This year, Australia is hosting their Trans-Tasman rivals at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground while South Africa is playing host to the English at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. And, thousands have people flocked to the ground for the marquee occasion.
Australia recorded its highest non-Ashes Boxing Day attendance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with more than 80,000 fans jam-packing the ground for the Trans-Tasman encounter.
Why is 26th December referred to as Boxing Day?
Boxing Day has nothing to do with the sport- Boxing. There are various versions as to why 26th December is referred to as Boxing Day. The name has its origin from history and tradition.
According to one version, the name ‘Boxing Day’ is a reference to holiday gifts. In Britain, a ‘Christmas Box’ refers to Christmas present. Boxing day was traditionally a day-off for the servants where they would receive gifts from their masters and then go home to give the ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families. Another version states, the Boxing day refers to an occasion where the box containing money and gifts for the poor on Christmas was opened the next day.
The Boxing Day also has religious connections and is celebrated as St.Stephen’s Day in Ireland and the Catalonia region of Spain. Speaking of the proceedings of the Boxing Day Tests, while Australia cemented their position at the top at stumps on day 01 after having racked up 4-257, South Africa and England are currently engrossed in a pulsating battle with the visitors nipping out two early wickets in the first hour of the Test match.
Watch: South African spinner bowls with both hands in MSL 2019
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